Lionel Messi retains a commanding lead in the ESM Golden Shoe rankings despite the good form of his close rivals.
Now with more than 300 FC Barcelona goals to his name, Messi is on a 14-game Liga scoring streak. He struck two on Saturday as Barcelona came from behind to triumph 2-1 at Granada CF, and is on course to emulate Thierry Henry and Ally McCoist in winning three ESM Golden Shoes. In any normal season Cristiano Ronaldo's 24-goal tally would put him top, while Falcao and Jackson Martínez's 20 would be enough to be in contention, but they are likely to be competing for second spot.
In fact, the number of challengers vying to finish a place below Messi is increasing. Mario Mandžukić of FC Bayern München is up to 11th position on 15 goals for 30 points, after scoring (seven times) in all five of his league games in 2013. Coach Jupp Heynckes described Mandžukić as "an outstanding team player".
ESM Golden Shoe standings: 18 February
1 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) 37 x 2 = 74
2 - Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF) 24 x 2 = 48
3 = Falcao (Club Atlético de Madrid) 20 x 2 = 40
3 = Jackson Martínez (FC Porto) 20 x 2 = 40
5 Robin van Persie (Manchester United FC) 19 x 2 = 38
6 = Edinson Cavani (SSC Napoli) 18 x 2 = 36
6 = Luis Suárez (Liverpool FC) 18 x 2 = 36
8 - Arturas Rimkevičius (FC Šiauliai) 35 x 1 = 35*
9 - Philipp Hosiner (FK Austria Wien) 23 x 1.5 = 34.5
10 Zlatan Ibrahimović (Paris Saint-Germain FC) 21 x 1.5 = 31.5
Only the leading five countries – Spain, Italy, Germany, England and Portugal – in the UEFA rankings have two as their multiplier. This is to emphasise the difference in (international) performance level between clubs from those countries and those of other nations.
A player cannot play first in a summer league (e.g. Norway) and then in a winter league (e.g. Spain) and combine the points totals for each campaign.
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